All In, All Out: An Entrepreneur’s Journey
It’s been a 33 year journey, but I’ll skip the super early stuff.
In 2008, I was a top sales producer at ADP, selling software and services to small businesses in Phoenix. I was there for about one year.
I left there and went to do the same thing at a “mom & pop” payroll provider in Monroe, LA. That was where the entrepreneurial seed was planted; we only had 10 employees and I got to see how the entire business was run. More importantly, I recognized how important technology was for us and our customers.
Once I learned the business inside and out, I went on to sell software to payroll companies, accounting firms and banks all over the country.
I built up enough courage to start my own payroll company. Kind of. It was more of an “intrepreneur” role. I still had a bit of a security blanket.
You see, I convinced a credit card processor to give me $400k to start a payroll company for them as a subsidiary, and provide me with $100k salary with growth bonuses. And we grew the heck out of that thing. It’s still thriving today as Alpha Payroll Services.
But something was still missing.
Fast forward to a few years later, in 2012 — I was introduced to a great guy who had left Apple to start an SaaS time clock startup. I fell in love with the idea immediately. And for a little under 3 years now, we’ve been building kairos.com.
This felt very entrepreneurial, as I went a year without pay, I was one of 3 people working on our startup full time in the beginning, I was a part of everything from product to pitching.
But even with my shares in the company, money raised and in the bank, a high six figure salary, and more – something was still missing.
I wasn’t “all in.”
I was all about our startup, but I wasn’t bearing all the risk. It was more like a great startup job.
Babysitting is different than having your own kids.
So this past September, I decided to give birth to my true entrepreneurial spirit. I decided to go all in and launch Visage Payroll, offering free payroll to small businesses and startups.
I walked away from the salary and an awesome startup culture to venture out by myself and build a team, product, and company from scratch — and accumulate a bunch of debt after burning through my savings.
And honestly I couldn’t be happier.
Sure, I’ve got a mortgage, 3 kids (one is 8 weeks old) and a wife. Absolutely, I haven’t made one dime this quarter.
But that’s what “all in” is about, at least for me anyway.
I’m more fulfilled now than I have ever been.
Yes it’s hard.
Of course it’s risky.
But I’ve decided, it’s best for me to be all in and go all out!